Summer may be known as festival season, but for the last few years, the NYC Winter Jazzfest has turned a chilly January evening into a one-night whirl of activity. This year’s bash boasts a typically terrific program, but there’s a twist: Instead of using a single venue, it’s claiming three. For 10 hours, (Le) Poisson Rouge, Sullivan Hall, and Kenny’s Castaways house a bounty of improvisers that stretches from demonstrative drummers (Will Calhoun and Dafnis Prieto) to sly pianists (Lafayette Gilchrist and Robert Glasper) to space-funk kingpins (Marco Benevento and the Jacob Fred Odyssey). With 20 acts on the program, full absorption can be dizzying, but there’s a specific thrill in clocking the nonstop parade of ensembles—even if you’re there to graze, you’ll get a jolt. On the must-see list? New groups from Jeff Watts and Orrin Evans, and Don Byron’s Ivey-Divey trio. Correctly plan your zigzag across Bleecker Street, and thrills should abound.
Sat., Jan. 10, 7:30 p.m., 2009